Data is the lifeblood of any business and therefore it’s not surprising that businesses are responsible for ever more personal data. But just imagine if one morning you turned on your computer, phone or tablet and everything was gone! No files, phone numbers, client information, or appointments… it’s a frightening thought but unfortunately it does happen.
There are a number of factors that could compromise your data, such as:
- losing a laptop, USB or smartphone
- leaving files in a public place
- emailing the wrong person
- a theft
- a deliberate hack to the network
- card skimming
Worryingly, the World Conference of Disaster Management states that 93% of companies that have no access to their data for 10 days or more file bankruptcy within one year of the disaster, and 50% file for bankruptcy immediately.
So what can you do…
- Invest in, and regularly test, your network security and infrastructure.
- Protect information with an internal ‘need-to-know’ policy. If storing information on a central file server, manage who has access to these files.
- Encrypt important information for extra security so that only authorised users will be able to access it.
- Develop an email policy and raise online security awareness with employees. Follow up on suspicious emails even if they’re a one off.
- Make it protocol for employees to use numbers and letters in passwords and change your passwords regularly.
- Back up your files.
- Consider the security of your equipment; can you lock your tablets/laptops away at the end of a working day?
- Train employees on the importance of data and their responsibilities.
You may also find The Information Commissioner’s Office ‘A Practical Guide to IT Security’ a useful guide.
Make sure you are covered
It is increasingly important for businesses to evaluate all the risks they face, and include IT security and protection requirements in their overall contingency strategy. An area to consider is whether your insurance continues to keep pace with your hardware, software and infrastructure developments. Also, be mindful of the need for robust contingency plans and ensure that you have a process in place to help you get back up to speed if the data and systems that you need to trade are affected.
HETAS Insurance Services is a trading name of Jelf Insurance Brokers Ltd and HETAS Ltd is an introducer appointed representative of Jelf Insurance Brokers Limited.
Jelf and Jelf Clarke Roxburgh are trading names of Jelf Insurance Brokers Ltd. Jelf Insurance Brokers Ltd (Reg No. 0837227) is part of Jelf Group PLC (Reg No: 2975376) and is registered in England and Wales at Hillside Court, Bowling Hill, Chipping Sodbury, BS37 5JX and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Not all products and services are regulated by the FCA. JIB126.07.15
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